Albright calls for Kashmir plebiscite

Published December 14, 2003

NEW DELHI, Dec 13: A plebiscite or referendum is “the most logical way to find out the will of the Kashmiri people,” who were “buffered between terrorists on the one side and security forces that had sometimes failed to observe basic human rights,” says former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright.

She was speaking to participants of a conference in New Delhi on Saturday.

Ms Albright called for the institutionalisation of a ceasefire between the two countries, which began Nov 26 besides calling on Islamabad to end the infiltration of fighters into Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Calling the decision of India and Pakistan to go nuclear in 1998 a mistake, Ms Albright said the dispute had made Kashmir one of “the most dangerous and tragic places” in the world.

Former US president Bill Clinton described Kashmir as the most dangerous place in the world in 2000.

The uncertainty in the region due to tensions on Kashmir had prevented economic growth in South Asia and hampered India from taking its rightful place as a global leader, Ms Albright said.—AFP

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